Vivaldi - Concerto For Three Violins - Stern, Zukerman, Perlman - Mehta
“As he [Jesus] was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning. Two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Jesus...As the men were leaving Jesus, Peter said to him, 'Master, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.' (He did not know what he was saying.)”
At one point during the Mainly Mozart Concert on Wednesday, June 18, I swear to God the orchestra’s clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning. It could have been their clothes, but it was probably their playing. Yes, yes, that’s it. It was their playing that was as bright as a flash of lightning.
I found myself in the role of Peter. I thought how great it would be if these people were here all the time. We could put up three shelters — one for Mozart, one for Beethoven, and one for the orchestra. If only we could make this temporary glory into a permanent fixture. Wouldn’t that be great?
Just like Peter, I don’t know what I’m saying.
It would not be great because if we stayed on the mountaintop with the glowing people it wouldn’t be a mountaintop. It would be a plateau — and nobody likes a plateau. The glowing people would start to look ordinary.
The glory of the Mainly Mozart Festival is that it is a mountaintop. It is a transient transfiguration. The glory comes and the glory goes. No shelters.
The Mainly Mozart Festival is to be witnessed. I can try to write a Gospel account but then you’d have to take my word on faith and who knows if I’m a trusted source? There have been no ecumenical councils to vote on my inclusion into the holy scriptures of classical music writings.
You don’t have to take my word for it. There is one more concert on Saturday, June 20th. Go see for yourself should you doubt. Oh I hope somebody shows up who is named Thomas.
The Wednesday night concert featured the musicians of the orchestra without Maestro Francis. The ensemble got a few nods from concertmaster Preucil to get things going and then it was all about the ensemble playing together as only a group of this caliber can.
The experience was a purer form of chamber music. The concert comprised music by Vivaldi and Mozart. If you like The Four Seasons then you like everything Vivaldi wrote. He wrote the same concerto 500 times. Not really, but you get the picture. There is no mistaking Vivaldi.
The concertos performed here were for three violins and then another for four violins. The soloists were all taken from the orchestra and they all confirmed what we should have known. These people are badass musicians.
The Mozart Flute Concerto was probably the featured piece of the concert, but just barely. Flutenist Jeffrey Khaner played the solo. Mr. Khaner is a member of the Festival Orchestra, and in his spare time he is the principal flutenist for the Philadelphia Orchestra.
(“Flutenist” is a word, I looked it up. It’s a little less stuffy than “flautist” but not so philistine as "flutist.")